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Right out of the box.  If the answer is in any way evasive, that should be the end of the hearing.  (Note: The Kagan hearing is over.  Make this a hypothetical about questions that need to be asked.)

Glenn Greenwald writes today about the al-Awlaki case where the administration is claiming it has the right to deny a US citizen the right to retain legal services to enjoin the government from taking a irreversible, harmful action.

Yes this is narrowly about terrorism.  Its significance though, stems from the breadth of the concept that one person is able to decide in secret what your Constitutional rights are, without recourse.  Very bad.  End of the American Experiment bad.

I used to think this is where we're heading and there was some time left, but I guess we're already there.  If the ACLU gains standing (or audience, or permission, it's murky) here, this will almost certainly come to the Supreme Court.  We cannot afford another Justice on the Court that believes in unfettered executive power.

This is more of a quick hit/rant, but the issues are existential, imho, and need to be discussed.  It has Presidential ramifications as well.

The requisite James Madison quote:

Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

Per Greenwald:

A major legal challenge to one of the Obama administration's most radical assertions of executive power began this morning in a federal courthouse in Washington, DC.  Early last month, the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights were retained by Nasser al-Awlaki, the father of Obama assassination target (and U.S. citizen) Anwar al-Awlaki, to seek a federal court order restraining the Obama administration from killing his son without due process of law.  But then, a significant and extraordinary problem arose:   regulations promulgated several years ago by the Treasury Department prohibit U.S. persons from engaging in any transactions with individuals labeled by the Government as a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist," and those regulations specifically bar lawyers from providing legal services to such individuals without a special "license" from the Treasury Department specifically allowing such representation.

The rest of the column describes the ACLU's actions and challenges in more detail.  But there are a couple of things I'd like to highlight that show pernicious intent.

  1. Treasury only labeled al-Awlaki a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist" after his father filed suit, one would assume to conform with the specific labeling requirements of the law that require permission.
  1. Treasury simply ignored the good-faith request for permission to represent al-Awlaki.

I was going to try to discuss this but it seems so blatant a subversion that I couldn't really identify any issues.  How can the government require a lawyer to ask permission to represent someone (and by extension require someone to ask permission to be represented)?  Isn't that prima facie, non-hypothetical authoritarianism?  

Due process (the concept, not any situational application), of which legal representation is one aspect, is the heart of the foundational justice we believe in as Americans.  This process that the ACLU has uncovered and that Greenwald describes shreds any notion that our DC establishment believe that anymore.  To paraphrase Madison, perpetual war and US Constitutional democracy are incompatible.  It's showing.

Kagan needs to state her clear position on this.  So does Obama for that matter (or maybe he has with this case).  This permitting process for legal representation is way over the line.  Beyond Bush, over the line.  Primary, over the line.  

We can't afford to have people in power in DC that believe that due process is optional.  We just can't.

Update:  Thanks to burrow owl, the ACLU brief on this is here (.pdf)

Originally posted to Terra Mystica on Tue Aug 03, 2010 at 10:32 AM PDT.


Is requiring government permission to represent someone over the line?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (16+ / 0-)

    "Dega dega dega dega. Break up the concrete..." The Pretenders

    by Terra Mystica on Tue Aug 03, 2010 at 10:32:01 AM PDT

  •  OBAMA IS WORSE THAN BUSH!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    steve davis, Jersey Jon

    squawk! Primary Obama! squawk!


    You guys slay me. Please never stop posting.

    I'm gonna go eat a steak. And fuck my wife. And pray to GOD - hatemailapalooza, 052210

    by punditician on Tue Aug 03, 2010 at 10:36:21 AM PDT

  •  Another outrage in the war on rights (4+ / 0-)

    enumerated in our Constitution.  The war on rights wasn't started with the fanfare of the war on drugs or war on terror, but I think it's going to have more devastating results as time goes on.

    I really can't believe that the US continues to hold people without charge and without lawyers in Gitmo and other places - the Constitution specifically says that people have a right to trial and there's no way someone's going to convince me that someone in US custody is not subject to all the US laws, including treaties, that the US has signed.

  •  Like every matter that will come before the court (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht, neroden, ColoTim, Terra Mystica

    ...Kagan will not say how she'll rule.

    That's how one gets confirmed.

  •  Superb Diary (5+ / 0-)

    Obama, theoretically, should be great on these issues, but he isn't.  The Elena Kagan train has already left the station, in my view, though.

    So, we need to redouble our efforts to get the Obama administration to end the wars we are in as quickly as possible to mitigate the perceived need for constitutional erosions like this.

    The best way to prevent loss of civil freedom is to elect people who actually care about it (but not those that pander to the word, "freedom") and then to scream bloody murder at them when they don't.

    Educate yourself. Think for yourself. Be yourself. Act for others.

    by DHinIA on Tue Aug 03, 2010 at 10:55:43 AM PDT

  •  A nitpick: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wmtriallawyer, Brecht, Terra Mystica, FG
    Provided the reg was authorized by statute, this is not an expansion of executive power, but the exercise of power delegated by Congress.
  •  Uninterested in the particulars right now , but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Terra Mystica

    the anthemic question of this diary is asked when we are trying to quantify how iron fisted the American Police State is at a given moment.

  •  Legitimate questions (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silverbird, Terra Mystica, m00finsan

    and the Obama administration chose to cloak itself with this rule, so it must answer for that choice even if they didn't create or advocate for creating the law.

      •  I guess (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        neroden, Terra Mystica
        its really one question,   do we need the government's permission to have a lawyer?  I just extended it to, is the terrorist rule exception a legitimate exception?

        Diarist basically said Kagan and the Obama administration need to respond.

        So, I was agreeing that this was a legitimate question to demand an answer to, and to those that said Obama didn't make the rule so he doesn't have to answer the question, his administration chose to use the rule, they invoked it to stop a lawsuit, so they need to take responsibility for their choice.

          •  or else nothing (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Terra Mystica

            nothing I said was some kind of grandstanding demand.  It recognized the question was legitimate.  I opined that Obama's administration had voluntary used the rule so that it was legitimate to ask the question of them.  Being responsible for a choice doesn't mean that something has to happen.

            I didn't imply anyone would actually ask the question, presume to know what the answer, if any, would be.  Certainly I made no threats.

            It seems to me you have come looking for a fight where none exists.

            •  Thanks for the clarification (0+ / 0-)

              I regret to say I don't spend enough time on dkos to be familiar with the language that is most often used.  I find that, in general, especially on political websites, progressives tend to phrase criticisms in ways that imply consequences where none exist.  Certainly it's a valid question to pose ... but ... if the administration or Obama didn't answer it, nothing would change.

              By that I mean that the political line of scrimmage remains the same.  Which raises the question:  Why do phrase things the way we do?

              It would be an interesting exercise to finish each statement we make and, to ourselves, tack on, "or else, what?" ... and if there's no consequence to that question ... well, maybe there's a better way to phrase it  ?? !!

              Who knows?  I'll have to try it myself ... but I'm afraid I might sound less authoritarian.


              •  even rhetorical questions have a purpose (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Terra Mystica

                As it was the diarist's question, why don't you pose your question to the diarist?  Why did the diarist phrase it as a question.

                Thinking if freakishly undervalued today.  A question, even if phrased as a question we know will never be anwered, is meant to provoke thinking.   To answer a question ought to involve thinking.   To understand the question, think through the implications and to answer.   Which might involve another question and even more thinking.

                There's a place for action and there's a place for thinking.   All too often we don't do enough thinking and we do too much acting.   There's also a place for being.

                This diary and its question brought new information to the blog, it brought up a question about fundamental principles, it challenged each of us to think.  And depending on our thoughts, there may in fact be consequences.   Maybe I finally find the breaking point where I won't support the Obama administration, they lose my vote, they lose my money, they lose me as a volunteer that knocks on doors.  Maybe they never answer the question, but there can be consequences.  

                And surely, 'or else, what?', could be tacked on to more than questions.  In fact, how does a question make one sound more authoritarian than a declarative statement?  'The White House is destroying core constitutional principles' is a lot stronger on the authoritarian scale than the question posed by the diarist.  "So what?", could easily be a response to that statement.

                •  It's interesting that you would imagine that (0+ / 0-)

                  thinking about the question posed might induce thoughts that may lead you to " ... find the breaking point where I won't support the Obama administration, ... ".

                  Perhaps that's why I question the productiveness of the very questions being asked ... or at least how they are phrased.   From my perspective, that conclusion can only proceed from profound naiveté.  It reflects a lack of understanding about the very nature of two-party politics.  On some level, it assumes that the punitive action of withholding your support will somehow more-likely lead to fulfilling your best intentions, when just the opposite it true.  

                  It is the definition of self-defeating, and I'm sure the political "right" delights in reading it.

                  •  You have no (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Terra Mystica


                    there comes a point for everyone where they have to draw a line about what is no longer acceptable behavior regardless of party label.  Stick a name on it and worship it forever regardless of the actions of the administration is hardly  beneficial to this nation.  You are without doubt one of the least principled persons I have conversed with on this blog.  Even those I tend to vehemently disagree with I generally respect.  If Constitutional rights mean nothing to either Democrats nor Republicans, if their depredations against individuals mean that we live without the rule of law and due process is a joke to the government then you better believe I'll withhold my vote.  These positions on the security state over rights of individuals disturb me greatly.  I have 't reached a breaking point yet but the day could come.  I owe my allegiance to the Constitution and to principles not to a political party.  I support Democrats only because I still believe they are better than the alternative.

                    Every citizen should honor the principles over the party.  Every citizen should ask and answer hard questions and expect political leaders to do the same.

                    •  Well said. nt (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      "Dega dega dega dega. Break up the concrete..." The Pretenders

                      by Terra Mystica on Tue Aug 03, 2010 at 09:34:33 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  OUCH ! ?? LOL ... and such harsh words . . . (0+ / 0-)

                      ... even after I gave you a pass on your patronizing pedagogy.  Thinking is freakishly undervalued, indeed.  That's why the Republican wingnuts remain so close to power.  

                      If you really don't understand how two-party politics works, don't be ashamed to ask.  But I'll offer you a hint:  You never get what you want by giving up the ball to the other side ... never !!  Period.  And I don't know if the world can afford to wait another couple of generations while allegedly principled, well-intentioned "progressives" figure that out.  The team on the other side of the ball is far more disciplined about that - and that is why they win far more often than they should.

                      From the standpoint of their ideology, they don't make the "perfect" the enemy of the "good".  And we'd make much more progress if we took just that page from their playbook.  

                      As far as what lies at the root of the problem of reduction of Constitutional rights, that fire is fueled by a media-driven fear-mongering campaign, the public reaction to which is to surrender liberties in exchange for security.  It can't be treated by going after the symptoms, no matter how self-righteously pompous you may posture yourself.  It can only be treated by targeting the causes.

                      But we'd not only have to stop "freakishly undervaluing thinking", but we'd have to stop freakishly overvaluing feeling, in order to remember that point long enough to address it effectively.

                      Wouldn't we?

                      Of course we would!

                      •  the media is only part of the problem (0+ / 0-)

                        the real problem is people willing to trade constitutional rights to 'win' in a two party system, to minimize the destruction of those rights regardless of who is doing the destruction.   When the good of any administration is diminished to the point where it isn't fostering the Constitution, it needs to go.  A benevolent dictator is still a dictator.  Totalitarian states, police states, anti-democratic actions are evil.  Good men can do evil and its still evil.

                        •  " ... it needs to go." (0+ / 0-)

                          Yes ... but to be replaced by ... what?  Something worse?  If you finish your own thought - if you stop being myopic - you see that the brighter horizon does not come more closely into focus by returning the oval office to the GOP.  

                          There IS a way to get what you want.  There IS a way to advance your cause.  But it's NOT by circling the wagons and turning your guns inward. It will never be achieved by fragging your own.  The only result that comes from that is to move the country farther away from your own stated ideals.

                          And that's exactly what the proto-fascists want.

                          •  your thicker than two planks (0+ / 0-)

                            I haven't stopped supporting this administration, I am not supporting Republicans.   I don't even believe I am near that point.   At this point I still see a difference between the parties and the policies.   But that doesn't mean that I can not think about and envision a time when not supporting this adminstration and criticizing will serve a greater purpose.

                            I am not afraid.  I am not some easily cowed follower.   I have my beliefs.  I support the persons or parties closest to them.   If they betray everything I believe in, I'm not going to support them.

                            You and your ideas of party uber alles is disgusting to me and makes me worried that I have allowed the wrong kind of people to gain sway if you really want me to believe you represent this administration's thinking.

                          •  Efforts to distort my message notwithstanding (0+ / 0-)

                            I have no fealty to the Democratic Party.  I've never even implied Democrats über alles.  I just have insights into the machinations of two-party politics you seem too obtuse to benefit from.

                            The Democrats are no "better" than the Republicans per se.  Both parties are comprised largely of well-intentioned American citizens who would like to believe they know what's best for all of us.

                            Where you and I diverge, it seems to me, is that you can imagine a point at which your frustration, or disgust, with your party or your POTUS, brings you to the point of wanting to take your ball and go home in an infantile huff ... as if THAT ever advanced ANY issue.

                            What I'm saying is that under our political system, the way you advance your ball on the field of play is by persistently knocking down the opposition - NOT by engaging in friendly fire. It has nothing to do with becoming a cheerleader, or a mindless drone. It has nothing to do with wearing a red, white and blue donkey pin in your cap.  It just has to do with recognizing which side of the ball you're on, and accepting that in THIS form of democracy, your chances to score are far more likely to come when you're on offense.  And it's bad enough we aren't on a level playing field.

                            It's THEIR job to attack your quarterback, and many of us out here would simply prefer you not do their job for them.  The over-wrought metaphor might seem like a stretch, but I don't think it should exceed your grasp.  

                          •  you have no insight (0+ / 0-)

                            into two party politics that would benefit anyone.

                            There are few well intentioned people on the national political playing field.  They are bought and paid for by and large.   Only by opposing them at the election box do we exert any control over the fact that they routinely sell us down the river.  The two party system benefits the powerful, not the vast majority of people.   Keeping out countervailing view points and sharing power, keeps us acting against our best interests.   Having to support the least rapacious party of the moment just to keep the most evil people out of party is a losing proposition.  We've lost continuously for the last four decades because we've accepted the proposition that we shouldn't criticize, refuse to accept the degradation of the Constitution, take the crumbs thrown or else.

                            You are not more sophisticated in your thinking, you're a dupe trying to dupe the rest of us.

                          •  Shall I parse your latest reflux ?? (0+ / 0-)

                            "There are few well intentioned people on the national political playing field."

                            This is absolutely false.  The overwhelming preponderance of people who go into politics do it to serve - their community, their city, their state -  and, by far, the greatest portion of those who wind up on the national playing field come from that pool.

                            "They are bought and paid for by and large."

                            This, alas, is quite true.  And this limitation is not merely systemic, it's endemic.  Nobody can rise within a party without being beholden to that party. It's the nature of the beast.  The day after their inauguration, every freshman Senator or Representative is told that their first order of business is, contrary to their intentions, NOT to be about serving the will of the people, but to raise money for the party coffers. The rationale is that said electee would not have attained office without party support, party endorsements, party money and the imprimatur of having an "R" or "D" next to their name at the ballot box. A debt is owed. They enter office beholden ... but THAT is a limitation of party politics of any stripe . . . even under parliamentary systems. Ours is worse than some, and better than many.

                            "Only by opposing them at the election box do we exert any control over the fact that they routinely sell us down the river."

                            Now we're almost on the same page.  Refusing to even vote, or throwing away one's vote on an all-but-impossible "other party" candidate, is NOT "opposing them at the election box".  It's merely spiting ourselves and undermining our own interests. Anyone who doesn't go to the election box is the person who has been duped ... including yourself, if and when you should come to that conclusion.  Nothing delights the proto-fascists like lowering voter turnout.

                            "The two party system benefits the powerful, not the vast majority of people."

                            These two are not mutually exclusive, and it's overly simplistic to think that they are.  Quite often, the policies that benefit the "vast majority of the people" also benefit the powerful.  And vice versa.  And, at times, there are also policies that wind up harming the interests of both.  But in any case, a two party system is the one we have to work with, so merely dropping out of it, or just bitching about it, is disempowering.

                            "Keeping out countervailing view points and sharing power, keeps us acting against our best interests.   Having to support the least rapacious party of the moment just to keep the most evil people out of party is a losing proposition."

                            There are a lot of things that keep "us acting against our self interests", but it isn't only politicians that frame the debate.  The media actually has the much larger role in it. The MSM is a corporate media; the media serves corporate interests - including their own - media advertising is paid for by corporations; and he who pays the piper calls the tune.  It is they, the MSM, that frame the debate and keep out countervailing view points, and that is the reason that the internet has become such a threat to those corporate interests. Countervailing view points, such as those found on KOS, are outside the debate framed by the MSM.  

                            As for "the most evil people" and the "least rapacious party", once again your view is grossly simplistic. When you vote, you vote not only for-or-against the most evil people, you also vote for-or-against the least evil people - the nicest, kindest, most concerned ... the best people. You not only vote for the least rapacious party, you vote for the most generous party. Your glass isn't only half empty, it's also half full.  Things are really not so bad in the United States.  Look around the world.  The average level of government corruption on this planet would make Jack Abramoff blush. We live in a country where poor ol' Charlie Rangell can't even get away with using a rent controlled apartment for an office.  If you think our politicians are rapacious, you know nothing of rapacity.

                            "We've lost continuously for the last four decades because we've accepted the proposition that we shouldn't criticize, ... "

                            Well, this is utter bullshit.  In fact, quite the opposite is true.  We've spent more time criticizing in the last four decades than ever before.  Everybody criticizes the government all the time - across the political spectrum.  Ever since Reagan excreted "government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem." it's become a mindless fucking mantra.  And it's a fallacy.  It's a lie. It's bullshit.  Because when you live in a country where the government is "of the people, by the people and for the people", whatever failings the government has are really failings of the people. If democracy isn't good enough for you, what would you prefer?  A Divine Monarchy?  

                            My point is that what government needs is MORE engagement of the citizenry, NOT LESS.  But it has to be understood what the nature of that engagement must be in order to "move the ball" (advance the issue). And the way the ball is moved, for example, the way issues of Constitutional rights are advanced, is not by undermining your own quarterback.  The way the ball is moved is by always attacking the opposition. No touchdowns are ever scored by hitting your own quarterback from behind and driving him 90 yards down-field.  

                            When the opposition is a fear-mongering cabal of neo-conmen whose ideology led us into perpetual war, THAT is the target on the other side of the line of scrimmage that must be taken down. Discredit them, discredit their false ideology of perpetual war, and restoration of Constitutional rights has a freer path across the line of scrimmage.

                            When the opposition is an increasingly extremist Republican Party that panders to racists, misogynists, homophobes, xenophobes, idiots, religious extremists and just-plain-fucking-whack-jobs - (because Republicans have no solutions to peddle, and no vision to share) - THAT is the target across the scrimmage line to knock down.  Expose them for what they are, which is a hollow party whose stock and trade is manipulating public sentiment by telling the fringes of America who and what to hate and fear. The disenfranchisement of the party of mindless, fearful extremists is a path through the scrimmage line toward more conscious government.

                            When the opposition is a mealy mouthed, wishy-washy fourth estate that bends over backwards distorting the truth under the pretext of being non-partisan, THAT is the target across the line of scrimmage whose influence must be neutralized. Expose them for what they are, cancel your cable or satellite subscription, get your "news" and entertainment elsewhere and tell them why you did it.

                            I could go on and on, but if you don't get it by now, then you're simply ineducable.  If the whining disillusioned yodelers who consider themselves progressives don't know who the real enemy is, it might be another couple of generations before these trends are reversed.

                            Perhaps we can all survive until then.

              •  Thanks for asking... (0+ / 0-)

                First, my assumption is that limiting legal representation in any way is like spraying Agent Orange on the delicate flower that is our legal system.  Broad, negative, and unintended effects.  

                Secondly, the circularity of the underlying issue indicates a pretty malformed collective mindset.  Real life Kafka. Anything that exposes that is good.

                There are three issues implied in the title question.

                1. Judicially, call it a litmus test.  Radically expanded executive power is becoming institutionalized.  Kagan is likely to further that process given her recorded views.  I'd prefer to not have that happen, and this is a crystal clear question on which to pivot that discussion.  
                1. Politically, the headline from a yes or equivocated answer would have either impassioned or alienated a lot of voters from all persuasions.  Maybe the "line of scrimmage" would have stayed the same, but the dynamic would have changed.  That would give us something to work with.  
                1. In a more intangible sense, legal representation is one of the principle methods of individual defense against state power.  Limiting that particular right would curtail our ability to evolve government and/or society over time.  It would have been a reflection on the health of the democracy.

                "Dega dega dega dega. Break up the concrete..." The Pretenders

                by Terra Mystica on Tue Aug 03, 2010 at 02:46:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Indeed ... (0+ / 0-)

                  All points well taken, and well expressed.  I would only take issue with some minor details.

                  But the "consequences" I'm referring to are not those of the policy.  However undesirable, un-American ... or even abhorrent the worst implications of the policy might be, my point is meant to address the language and what that language might lead to, which has the potential to be far more dangerous ... as illustrated above.  Nothing good can come of surrendering the White House back to the GOP

                  And moreover, it would seem at this point that the Kagan confirmation is a fait accompli, effectively reducing even further any rationalizations for raising the issue. Or did you actually have plans to keep her off the court? (If so, let me know how that works out for you)

                  Which leaves us only with this:  Executive overreaching is a function of two dynamics.  First, the widespread perception of being embroiled in a perpetual war (The Executive's first responsibility is the safety of the citizenry)  And second, the abdication of their duty by Congress.

                  And neither of these two issues are mitigated in any way by simply criticizing Obama, his administration, his policies or his nominee ... however well intentioned.      

                  •  Three things... (0+ / 0-)

                    A) Yes, if we know so little about a nominee, that nomination shouldn't go forward.  That's true for Rs and Ds.  This was a critical and timely question.  Sometimes timing is fortuitous, as it might have been in this case.  Like I said above, if the question was asked and the answer was "poor," her nomination might have suffered.  I think that's as it should be.

                    B) I think you're just wrong about this:  

                    And neither of these two issues are mitigated in any way by simply criticizing Obama, his administration, his policies or his nominee ... however well intentioned.

                    There's no way to change anything without criticism, simple or otherwise.  Some of the criticism may be gratuitous or naive, but not much imho.  There's too many big issues headed in the wrong direction.

                    C) You're right that Congress has had a major role in this current state of affairs/drift, mitigated only slightly by this admin's habit of leveraging progressives and not centrists (and the previous one's habit of ignoring Dems altogether).


                    There.  The world is now one...


                    "Dega dega dega dega. Break up the concrete..." The Pretenders

                    by Terra Mystica on Tue Aug 03, 2010 at 09:11:29 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  So I guess this means you actually have (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Terra Mystica

                      no plans to keep her off the court, right?  As I suspected.  So you'll just sidestep my point about your comments having already been rendered moot by her nomination being a fait accompli.  How convenient.

                      Regarding A)  You seem deluded into thinking that the confirmation process has revealed Kagan to be a judicial extremist - like Bork - and that this can, or should, keep her off the court.  When in fact, the confirmation hearings have revealed nothing of the sort, the balance of which is reduced to a process for vetting her temperament and qualifications, neither of which is in question.  She passes with flying colors and will be confirmed - so all you're effectively expressing is sour grapes.  And you rationalize this criticism as being productive ?? !! ??  When you already know it can and will "change" nothing !!! ???  I'm sorry you don't like being called on your counterproductive fragging sortie.

                      Regarding B)  There IS a way to change things with criticism.  Criticism across the line of scrimmage.  That's how territory is gained in the ground game of a two-party system.  If you "think I'm just wrong about" neither of those two issues being mitigated, then perhaps you can explain how criticism of Obama, his administration or Kagan does reduce perception about being in a perpetual war.  If you have a case, you certainly haven't made it.  Feel free.  Enlighten us.  I'd love to see an example of that in practice.

                      And yes, C ) Congress IS responsible for abdicating power to the Executive branch ... and they have the power to take it back ... and they CAN be successfully criticized into doing their jobs.

                      And now, all has been set right with the world.


                  •  And what jfromga said above about the existance (0+ / 0-)

                    of the line.  There has to be a line.  It's location may vary from person to person, but there has to be a line.

                    To me this is like the third daughter scene in "Fiddler on the Roof."  Some things can be rationalized, and some things can't.  I can't rationalize this policy.

                    Or alternatively, my hypothetical question is about target fixation.  The cure for target fixation is the realization that it is happening.  The realization describes the "line."

                    Cheers again.

                    "Dega dega dega dega. Break up the concrete..." The Pretenders

                    by Terra Mystica on Tue Aug 03, 2010 at 09:30:07 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

  •  What hearing? (0+ / 0-)

    Kagan's hearing is over.

    And her answer would have been the same as with other similar questions: if it has a chance to face the Court because of ongoing litigation, she wouldn't answer it.

    I read the whole diary, and I'm stumped as to what this has to do with Elena Kagan.

    The Internet is bad for politics. The only thing that grows in dark, damp places is mushrooms -- Friend of mine

    by wmtriallawyer on Tue Aug 03, 2010 at 11:19:48 AM PDT

    •  It seemed to me to be a fundamental legal/rights (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden, Johnny Q, m00finsan

      question that would come before the Supreme Court.  Her views are relevant because they would show her interest in halting our rights erosion or propensity to acquiesce to it.

      Congress abdicated its responsibilities.  The executive branch is moving into the vacuum.  The question here is where the court moves closer to being a rubber stamp or political brake, imho.

      But I'll change the diary on the hearing.

      "Dega dega dega dega. Break up the concrete..." The Pretenders

      by Terra Mystica on Tue Aug 03, 2010 at 11:32:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dear President Lincoln: (0+ / 0-)

    By order of this court you shall cease military actions against any American.

    Judge Copperhead

    •  Define war in terms other than "I know it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q

      when I see it."  (Note: My definition is different.)  

      I can make the case that we're not at war globally, and that theater-based conflicts are the closest we come to it. Is this guy in theater?  How do you preclude a Constitutional right given that set of circumstances?  How do you seek redress if that Constitutional right is the mechanism to seek redress?

      In any event, this guy is half a world away from the battlefield, has been deemed by someone, somewhere to be a terrorist, without evidence, and a death sentence has been handed down.  All outside a court.  

      Do you really think this issue doesn't apply to/affect you?  Who decides whether you live or die and why?  If it's me, fine, because I wouldn't harm a fly, mostly anyway, well not anymore...

      "Dega dega dega dega. Break up the concrete..." The Pretenders

      by Terra Mystica on Tue Aug 03, 2010 at 01:24:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dear President Grant: (0+ / 0-)

    The US Calvery fight against warring Indians has just got to stop.

    Judge Joker

  •  Thanks for posting this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Terra Mystica, dskoe, Johnny Q

    Greenwald asks an important question that will most likely be ignored by some.

    But whatever anyone thinks of those issues, it should offend every American that the Government purports to have the power to ban lawyers from representing citizens without its permission, which (as it's doing here) it can withhold without explanation and in its sole discretion.  Does any American want the Government to have that power with respect to citizens:  to bar lawyers, under the threat of criminal prosecution, from representing you if the Government calls you a Terrorist?

    Before you support war, look into the hollow eyes of the men, women and children who know it.

    by Indiana Bob on Tue Aug 03, 2010 at 12:42:32 PM PDT

    •  Thanks for looking in. Greenwald is one of the (0+ / 0-)

      most incisive out there.  When I read that paragraph I kept seeing a "_______" where he said "Terrorist."

      Obama is stopping(?) at "Terrorist," but what's to stop say a Palin from putting "Greenpeacer" or "Abortionist" in the blank.  That's extreme, but there isn't really any check to it anymore.  Even a notional one it seems.

      Be well.

      "Dega dega dega dega. Break up the concrete..." The Pretenders

      by Terra Mystica on Tue Aug 03, 2010 at 01:44:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Terra Mystica, I keep asking that! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Terra Mystica

        as I did when W was doing the same shit.  The most ridiculous response I got, and still get, is "We just have to make sure [fill in opposing boogieperson] doesn't get elected".


        Before you support war, look into the hollow eyes of the men, women and children who know it.

        by Indiana Bob on Tue Aug 03, 2010 at 07:44:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  background investigations (0+ / 0-)

    The Florida Bar....

    Admission to the bar includes passing a background investigation...

  •  I believe the US Patent and Trademark Office, (0+ / 0-)

    tax courts, and Supreme Court have special bars for lawyers (and in the case of tax courts non-lawyers).

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