Rape shield statutes-shield or sword
A few days ago a woman filed a complaint against Greg Kelly, the son of NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, alleging that he raped her last October. She said that they met on the street where they agreed to go out for drinks. After meeting for drinks on October 8, 2011, they then went back to her office where she works as a paralegal – which is where she said the sexual assault took place. She said that the incident caused her trauma and she also became pregnant but terminated the pregnancy.
Sherrod walks away
In a press conference today, Shirley Sherrod, who looked visibly weak, shaken-up, and at the brink of tears, declined the position of deputy director of outreach and advocacy which was offered to her by USDA Secretary, Tom Vilsack.
Sherrod was forced to resign from the USDA last month after conservative blogger, Andrew Breitbart, released an edited video of Sherrod which misrepresented her position on racial tolerance and made it appear as though she was discriminating against a White farmer.
No place at work for workplace violence
With the incidence of workplace violence so high these days, one must wonder why anyone would want to be a supervisor or have any position of authority in the workplace.
Shirley Sherrod should make lemonade – just like Palin
When we first saw the heavily edited Shirley Sherrod video on FOX News, most of us experienced several emotions. First there was shock which caused many of us to rush to judgment, just as Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, and the Obama administration did.
Then as the story began to unfold and change right before our eyes, we began to realize that this was not just the story of a woman victimized by right-wing conservatives, but it was the introduction on the world stage of a woman who was so severely impacted by discrimination in all forms (race, status, etc.) that she decided to devote the rest of her life to its eradication. The video introduced us to a woman who has been fighting for a cause for her entire life; a woman whose calling became bigger than the woman herself.
DOJ files suit: Isn’t Arizona’s SB 1070 illegal?
Maybe upon reading my post Arizona Immigration Law will be ruled unconstitutional Arizona’s legal and legislative teams decided to reconsider, rather revise SB 1070 in an effort to strengthen its constitutionality. Wishful thinking! Nevertheless the effort to clean up SB 1070 falls short of constitutionality leaving an opening for the Justice Department to deliver a case-ending one-two punch in court.
Compensation for wrongful imprisonment? Depends on who has the keys
The resurfacing of Jaycee Dugard, in 2009, after being kidnapped by Phillip Garrido in 1991 when she was only 11 years old, was greeted with joy by residents of California. Some residents, however, now appear to be unhappy with the news released last week that Dugard and her children will receive a $20 million payout from the state.
The SCOTUS Confirmation Hearings game
After 3 days of Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings, Elena Kagan’s advisers are able to relax because she stuck with the game plan. She did what any self-respecting SCOTUS nominee would do in order to ensure confirmation. She gave pre-planned, vague, none-answers that left senators and on-lookers with nothing more than they had when the hearings started.
A child’s DREAM – a parent’s nightmare
As the story of Eric Balderas, the 19-year-old Harvard biology student who was arrested for being in the United States unlawfully, permeated the headlines this week, the plight of the children of undocumented immigrants has gained the spotlight. But the plight of these children may be different from that of their parents.
As states such as Arizona and Massachusetts struggle to deal with the problem of illegal immigration with restrictive legislation, the children of undocumented immigrants hope to avoid the climate of hostility their parents face with the passage of a law they say embodies their dreams – the American dream – known as the DREAM Act.
Arizona Law will be ruled unconstitutional?
Gov. Jan Brewer’s signing of SB 1070 into law has one more obstacle to overcome before it can be permanently placed on the books. It has to pass the scrutiny of the courts. In our system of government there are three equal branches of government: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. Although lawmaking is constrained to the legislative and executive branches of government, the courts can overturn law and rule it unconstitutional. However, it is common practice for the legislative and executive bodies to vet laws for its constitutionality before they are placed on the legislative agenda. Given that SB 1070 was appropriately vetted, one begs to question why so many conclusively label Arizona’s SB 1070 as unconstitutional. Has politics blinded the eyes of Arizona’s legal analysts or do the masses have it wrong?
Arizona’s Immigration law – troubling at best
On April, 23, 2010, Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona signed that state’s and the nation’s toughest bill on illegal immigration into law (SB1070). Those who oppose the law say that the law (SB 1070) is unconstitutional because it is as a recipe for racial and ethnic profiling. President Obama called the law “misguided” and said it “threaten[s] to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans.” Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles said the authorities’ ability to demand documents was like “Nazism.”
Illegal immigration and anti-gay crime collide in New Jersey
The August 4, 2007 execution-style slaying of 3 friends in Newark, New Jersey quickly became part of the national debate about illegal immigration when authorities revealed that 2 of the suspects, Jose Lachira Carranza and Rodolfo Godinez are illegal immigrants. In the weeks that followed Mr. Carranza’s arrest, a Republican presidential candidate, Tom Tancredo, stood on the steps of Newark’s City Hall and denounced the city’s leaders as complicit in the killings, saying they allowed Newark to become a “sanctuary” for illegal immigrants.
Pros and Cons of Prenups
When the news of Larry King’s marital problems surfaced recently, it was reported that Larry and his wife, Shawn Southwick-King, didn’t have a prenup. Some say that Larry is foolish because his net worth is reportedly estimated at $144 million, and in the event of a divorce, under California’s law, Shawn would be entitled to one-half of all marital property. Although Larry and Shawn reconciled, their unfortunate circumstances gave us the opportunity to have a conversation about the pros and cons of prenups.
Second grader reveals mother’s immigration status
While visiting an elementary school in Silver Spring, Maryland today, First Lady Michelle Obama was asked a question which placed her in the middle of the immigration debate. Mrs. Obama, who visited the New Hampshire Estates Elementary School with Mexico’s First Lady, Margarita Zavala, handled the visit with the poise of a seasoned politician.
Kagan’s Skirt Suits
Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan, made the rounds of key senators’ offices on Capitol Hill today. In what has become a ritual for high court nominees, Kagan started her day with a visit to Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid. She then huddled with Senate Minority Leader – Mitch McConnell, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman – Patrick Leahy, and Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the committee’s top Republican.
Citizens United v. FEC – American Jurisprudence at its best or partisanship?
The 5 Justices who ruled to invalidate 441b’s ban on the use of corporate funds for political speech (Justices Roberts, Scalia, Alito, Thomas and Kennedy) are all known for their conservative views, and were nominated to the Supreme Court by Republican Presidents. On the other hand, the 4 Justices who dissented are known for their liberal views. Three of them (Justices Breyer, Bader-Ginsburg, Sotomayor) were nominated by Democratic Presidents. But, Justice John Paul Stevens was nominated by Republican President, Gerald Ford.
In a nutshell, here are the highlights of the decision. Prior to the 2008 primary elections, Citizens United (“Citizens”), a nonprofit corporation, produced a politically conservative ninety-minute documentary entitled Hillary: The Movie (“Hillary“). This documentary, which is critical of Clinton, covers her record while in the Senate and the White House and during her bid to become the Democratic presidential nominee. The movie was released in theaters and on DVD. But Citizens United decided to increase distribution by making it available through cable television video-on-demand services.
Citizen’s United v. FEC – The good, the bad and the ugly
In my first post about the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC, I gave my readers the facts of the case and then I summarized the Court’s opinion.
In this post, close scrutiny is given to parts of the Court’s opinion which I consider to be good, bad and ugly.