Tag Archives: us district court

Grab bag – Tuesday Night (updated)

Nice Commentary from Keith to go along with my opening paragraph:

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  • The media loves a point-counterpoint. They love bad versus good. They love rich versus poor. Any time you can paint a story as two extremes they start salivating. Now we have Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal versus President Barack Obama. There is a magazine article in which there are supposed to be some disparaging comments about Barack Obama, Joe Biden and his cabinet members. Frankly, some of the comments were juvenile. It is almost as if they were speaking off the record or they thought that the reporter was in a coma. President Obama has a complex decision to make — fire Stanley McChrystal in the middle of an offensive in Afghanistan, which could disrupt the military and its chain of command or keep the general and risk losing face with the military. Personally, I think it depends on the assessment of the Afghanistan war. If the offensive is meeting its goals then I would keep the general. If the offensive has been a huge waste of time, money and manpower then I would trash the offensive and fire the general. This is not an easy decision. No matter which President Obama goes on this one, look for the conservative media to bash him one way or the other.

  • Judge Martin “Marty” Feldman of the US District Court in New Orleans is making news. (I don’t know whether he is called “Marty” for short. Of course, Marty Feldman was a great comedian, best known for his performance in Young Frankenstein.) This Feldman has overturned the president’s moratorium on drilling in the Gulf. The Obama administration will appeal.
  • HHS has issued regulations for the Affordable Care Act. I’ll need to review this in detail. Here’s a quick summary fact sheet.
  • Many people are now picking up on Rep. Joe Barton’s apology to BP as the Republican Party line rather than a rogue personal statement. As I’ve said many times, Republicans are very disciplined. They’re not known for emotional outbursts. (I think that Joe Wilson’s You Lie outburst at the President was planned.) When they say something, it generally has been thought about and approved on many levels. Republicans are outraged that a corporation would be asked to clean up something that they caused. There’s a reason that the Superfund was allowed to dry up by the Bush administration. Corporations were supposed to pay fines for their transgressions, fines collected and placed into the Superfund. The Bush administration stopped collecting fines. Without fines there would be no Superfund because in their minds making business clean up what they messed up is a bad thing.
  • I was too disgusted after the NBA finals to actually talk about them. I wasn’t disgusted that the Los Angeles Lakers won. I was disgusted that instead of watching a basketball game, I watched a professional wrestling match. In spite of frankly my having gotten nauseated throughout the game, I feel compelled to congratulate Kobe Bryant, Phil Jackson (arguably the greatest coach of all time) and the Los Angeles Lakers. I would only ask that in the off season, point guard Rajon Rondo learn how to shoot free throws. Is that so hard?
  • Michael Jackson died approximately one year ago (it’ll be one year on the 25th). Some are confused about the fact that he has left a mixed legacy. I am not confused. I grew up with Michael Jackson. I had all of the J5 albums. I saw the J5 when they came to Dallas in 1970. Michael was 11 but they said he was 8. I was 9. Michael Jackson was a complex person, just as many of us are complex people. He was a great humanitarian and one of the best entertainers to ever live. He also slept in an oxygen chamber, had a zoo complete with a tiger and chimpanzee and he had problems with personal relationships with adults and children. I love him as an entertainer. Whenever I see his Emmy award-winning performance of Billie Jean at the Motown 25th anniversary special or his performance of Man in the Mirror at the Grammys, I get goosebumps. In spite of my utmost respect for his musical talents, I’m not sure I would leave my grandson with him for more than a nanosecond.
  • The goal of the day from the World Cup

Supremes will not hear Arar

We seem to be on the wrong side of this.

From Jurist:

The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Mondaydenied certiorari [order list, PDF] in Arar v. Ashcroft [docket; cert. petition, PDF], a case concerning the US government’s extraordinary rendition [JURIST news archive] policy. Canadian citizen Maher Arar [advocacy website; JURIST news archive] asked the court in February to overturn a lower court ruling [JURIST report] that he cannot sue the US government for damages based on his detention in the US and his detention, interrogation and torture in Syria after he was mistakenly identified as a terrorist. Arar was attempting to challenge the government’s extraordinary rendition policy under the Torture Victim Protection Act and theFifth Amendment [texts] of the US Constitution. The court declined to hear Arar’s appeal without comment. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who sat on the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website] when the case was decided en banc, took no part in the decision. Lawyers from the Center for Constitutional Rights [advocacy website] who represented Arar expressed disappointment [press release] with the court’s decision.

Arar was appealing a November 2009 ruling [JURIST report] by the Second Circuit, which held he could not sue the US government for damages. The appeals court, sitting en banc, dismissed Arar’s suit, finding that a civil remedy for harms endured as a result of extraordinary rendition must be created by Congress alone. The 7-4 decision affirmed a 2006 ruling [JURIST report] by the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York [official website], which dismissed Arar’s claims. The Second Circuit agreed to rehear Arar’s case en banc after a three-judge panel initially dismissed his appeal [JURIST reports] in July 2008. Arar, a Syrian-born engineer, immigrated to Canada with his family at the age of 17 and became a citizen in 1991. He was detained by US authorities in September 2002 after flying to New York from Tunisia on his way home to Canada. The US government deported him to Syria in 2002, where he was tortured despite Syrian assurances that he would not be. Canadian authorities have since cleared him of all suspicion, officially apologized and paid him damages. US lawmakers apologized [JURIST report] in 2007 for his arrest, deportation and torture at the hands of Syrian officials.