Category Archives: Civil Rights

Todays wingnut alert: Justice Antonin Scalia

Misogynist is an appropriate description to use when describing Scalia and his ‘thoughts’ on the Constitution and what and/or who it represents. From RawStory:

Roe v. Wade ‘a total absurdity,’ Scalia told audience

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s belief that women have no protection under the constitution could herald the return of officially-sanctioned gender discrimination, a prominent Washington lawyer says.

Justice Scalia reiterated his position that the Constitution’s 14th Amendment doesn’t guarantee protection against discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual orientation in a magazine interview published this month.

“Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex,” Scalia told California Lawyer(Q&A w/Scalia). “The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t. Nobody ever thought that that’s what it meant. Nobody ever voted for that.”

This mental midget sits on the highest court in the country and has for 24 friggin years. That he would suggest such a strict interpretation of the Constitution is worrisome and downright disgusting. Why does he think he is the only individual that knows what the founding fathers meant? SCOTUS has steadfastly upheld civil rights for all citizens, except of course gay individuals, and hopefully will continue to do so, even though one of the sitting justices doesn’t accept the premise of equal protection under the law for everyone.

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ICE loses 4th Amendment civil rights case.

Bet this ruling will piss off a lot of folks.You know, the ones who believe no one should have rights under our constitution, except those with money and power. From the National Law Journal link:

Three years of work by students in Yale Law School’s Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic paid off in a big way last week, when a federal judge ruled that officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement may be sued for civil rights violations. 

The ruling, issued by Judge Stefan Underhill of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, said that ICE officials aren’t immune from such suits, and that the court has jurisdiction over this type of immigration case. 

“We believe this is the most sweeping decision by a district court on this issue,” said Muneer Ahmad, the director of the clinic. “It means that ICE, as a law enforcement agency, is subject to the same measures of constitutional accountability as other agencies.”

*snip*

The case stems from an ICE raid on the predominantly Hispanic Fair Haven section of New Haven, Conn., in June 2007. Thirty-two people were arrested during the three-day raid, most of them bystanders and not the people with criminal backgrounds for whom ICE agents were looking, Ahmad said. 

The clinic began representing some of those arrested in their immigration cases in 2007, and in 2009 filed Diaz-Bernal v. Myers, the civil rights case. The plaintiffs argue that top-level ICE officials instituted policies and programs that violated the Fourth Amendment rights of the 11 plaintiffs. For example, they alleged, ICE officers entered numerous homes without search warrants or consent during the raid. The government responded with a motion to dismiss the majority of the case. 

Although Underhill dismissed some minor claims, he found that the most important ones have enough merit to go forward, Ahmad said.

Read the complaint here. Three and a half years to get this case to a decision. The government will always drag it heels when those in charge know they fucked up.Chalk up a win, however fleeting, to the brown people and those legal minds that saw through the governmental fuckery and kept doggedly pursuing this issue on their behalf.

Civil rights icon Dorothy Height dies.

She walked the walk, with Martin. For 40 years she championed the cause of civil rights and woman’s rights. She passed away at the age of 98. From the link:

As a teenager, Height marched in New York’s Times Square shouting, “Stop the lynching.” In the 1950s and 1960s, she was the leading woman helping King and other activists orchestrate the civil rights movement, often reminding the men heading the movement not to underestimate their women counterparts.

One of Height’s sayings was, “If the time is not ripe, we have to ripen the time.” She liked to quote 19th century abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who said that the three effective ways to fight for justice are to “agitate, agitate, agitate.”

 Height was on the platform at the Lincoln Memorial, sitting only a few feet from King, when he gave his famous “I have a dream” speech at the March on Washington in 1963.

Benjamin Hook also passed away last week. Both these individuals put their lives on the line to further the cause of civil rights for all people.

We have lost two of best within a weeks time. 😦 Their contributions must be remembered and lauded as they spoke truth to power when it was dangerous to do so.

Update: KO does a great piece on Ms. Height in the first half of the video below. Then, he talks about the horseshit the state of AZ is trying to pass for people of color..the color brown.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

A voice of the civil rights movement has died.

Odetta could sing anything. Blues, ballads, hymns and folk music..Odetta made it all sound beautiful. Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Janis Joplin were influenced by her, and she sang their music as well. Click here to listen to her sing Dylan’s Masters of War.

She died at the age of 77 in NYC Tuesday. Of heart disease. She had hoped to sing at Obama’s inauguration next month. The NYT has a good piece up about her here. From the article:

Odetta sang at the march on Washington, a pivotal event in the civil rights movement, in August 1963. Her song that day was “O Freedom,” dating to slavery days: “O freedom, O freedom, O freedom over me, And before I’d be a slave, I’d be buried in my grave, And go home to my Lord and be free.”

Odetta Holmes was born in Birmingham, Ala., on Dec. 31, 1930, in the depths of the Depression. The music of that time and place — particularly prison songs and work songs recorded in the fields of the Deep South — shaped her life.

Rest in peace sweet woman.

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ACLU representing RNC protesters

From the fine folks at the Real News Network. From their website:

Chuck Samuelson of the ACLU says much of the police repression during the RNC was based on law coming out of the Patriot Act.

The right to assembly, just another of our civil rights being circumvented by the assholes in the Bush Administration.