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CIVIL RIGHTS - CITIZENS

 

8/16/04 <link>
Learning from History: The Internment of Japanese Americans during World War II
Click here for commentary on this.

6/28/04 <link>
The U.S Supreme Court rules on "enemy combatant" and "detainee" cases
Click here for commentary on this.

12/17/02 <link>
Some top cities across the U.S. oppose Patriot Act
Some symbolically, some legally, fight against the Patriot Act deeming it excessively undermines civil liberties. 

12/13/02 <link>
Interracial dating and marriage on the rise
This is a piece of refreshing news in the midst of the Trent Lott issue. We quote some figures cited by Nicholas Kristof in this op-ed (bold phrases are our emphasis):
"...Mixed-race marriages in the U.S. now number 1.5 million and are roughly doubling each decade..."
"...About 40 percent of Asian-Americans and 6 percent of blacks have married whites in recent years..."
"...Still more striking, one survey found that 40 percent of Americans had dated someone of another race..."
"...Scientists who study the human genome say that race is mostly a bogus distinction reflecting very little genetic difference, perhaps one-hundredth of 1 percent of our DNA. Skin color differences are recent, arising over only the last 100,000 years or so, a twinkling of an evolutionary eye..."

11/22/02 <link>
"Total Information Awareness" (or Un-information awareness?)
Civil liberties take a big step back with the approval for the TIA office to be created after the passage of the Homeland Security Bill. While we are in agreement that effective intelligence sharing and information sharing on terrorists is a must, it is hard to imagine that the only way to achieve this is through organized spying of a massive scale. It is more intelligent to start with the suppliers of materials and weapons that may get into the hands of terrorists and work downward than start bottom-up by assuming everyone is a suspect by default. Do we really have the confidence that such a system will not miss the forest for the irrelevant shrubs, while destroying what America stands for in the process? 

As this article in the Financial Times states, "...The FBI in the 1950s set up a massive domestic counter-intelligence programme - known as Cointelpro - to investigate and disrupt the activities of Americans suspected of sympathising with the Soviet Union or the Communist party. According to the congressional Church committee in 1976, that mission led the agency to infiltrate not only the American Communist party, but the civil rights movement, the Vietnam war protesters and the women's liberation movement. Congress established many of the current restrictions on the FBI and CIA spying in the wake of those revelations..."

It is then not surprising that even conservative Republicans like Bob Barr and Dick Armey - who have also fought for the Right to Privacy - have now been recruited as consultants by the ACLU. For the moment, we feature some recent articles/op-eds on this issue below. 
Derrick Jackson (The Boston Globe)
Editorial (The Washington Post)
Jim Puzzanghera (San Jose Mercury News)
William Safire (New York Times)
Audrey Husdon (The Washington Times)

10/10/02 <link>
Representing an accused (suspected) terrorist? Think again.
Elaine Cassel in FindLaw, tells us how lawyers can go to the lam forever - with their clients - due to the Patriot Act and its aftermath. 

10/2/02 <link>
A Fifth Amendment compromise?
Julie Hilden's thoughtful article in FindLaw asks whether we could rewrite the laws to help prevent American citizens from having to be locked up indefinitely on incorrect charges, but help keep them locked up if they are really guilty - by giving them the right to an attorney (6th Amendment) but taking away the 5th (Right to remain silent). Why would this help? Well, read the article! The pros and cons are explored there. Clearly a debatable idea but a thought provoking one. At a time where there are more questions and complaints about civil liberties, than answers, creative thinking of this kind is in order!

9/23/02 <link>
Some airline security nightmares 
Here's a Washington Post editorial talking about the absurdity of trying to indict a Sikh who was held because he spent too much time shaving in the airplane. Another, an op-ed by Bob Herbert in the New York Times talks about an Indian who was held for hours because he seemed to have watched an unfolding incident (including air marshals with guns pointed towards the cabin) involving some "erratic" behavior by a Steven Fauer "too closely". Hmmm.   

9/17/02 <link>
Poll on civil liberties

The Los Angeles Times reports on interesting findings from a poll of Americans recently conducted by the National Constitution Center (which has by the way a link to the U.S. Constitution). Here are some highlights. It turns out that ~ 60% of the people believe that:

  • Monitoring prisoner-lawyer conversations on terrorism-related cases is OK

  • Illegal immigrants deserve no constitutional protections and must be deported immediately.

  • Racial profiling at airports is not acceptable.

9/11/02 <link>
CIVIL LIBERTIES

As we reach the anniversary of the most heinous attack on the lives, freedom and liberties of the people of the United States, we decided to feature some op-eds and opinion columns on where civil liberties stand today. Clearly, this is a controversial topic, and we will in due course publish our own opinions.  
Jimmy Carter (in the Washington Post)
John Payton (in the Washington Post)
Editorial (in the Washington Post)
Editorial (in the Washington Post)
Paul Krugman (in the New York  Times)
Nicholas Kristof
(in the New York Times)
Editorial (in the New York Times)
Editorial (in the Los Angeles Times)
Editorial (in the Los Angeles Times)
Editorial (in the Los Angeles Times)
Derrick Jackson (in the Boston Globe)
Dahlia Lithwick
(in MSNBC/Slate)
Cragg Hines (Houston Chronicle)
Bruce Bartlett
(in the Washington Times)
Nat Hentoff (in the Washington Times)
Jake Kreilkamp (FindLaw)
David Cole (The Nation)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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