Black Robes Speak!: March 2008
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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

U. S. Supreme Court hands down two major rulings today.

The U. S. Supreme Court has handed down two major decisions today.

The BIG MAJOR decision came in the case of MEDELLIN v. TEXAS, 06-984, a Mexican resident, who (along with 51 other Mexican citizens) incarcerated fr various crimes), wanted the court to reverse death sentence because Texas state courts violated his rights under the provisions of a treaty concerning the International Court of Justice (ICJ), by not informing him of his rights to consult the Mexican Consulate regarding his arrest.

The court held that President Bush does not have the authority to direct a state court to comply with a ruling from the International Court, because the President's order is not an enforceable federal law unless "statutes implementing it or the treaty itself conveys an intention that it be 'self-executing' and is ratified on that basis."

In the second case, which may be purely of interest to legal practitioners, the Court held in HALL STREET ASSOCIATES, L. L. C. v. MATTEL, INC., 06-989, that the Federal Arbitration Act prevents parties from contractually agreeing to supplement terms defining when a court can modify or vacate an arbitration award under the Federal Arbitration Act.

According to the Court, the terms under which an arbitration award can be modified or vacated are exclusive. As such, "Under §9 [of the Act], a court “must” confirm an award “unless” it is vacated, modified, or corrected “as prescribed” in §§10 and 11. Section 10 lists grounds for vacating an award, including where the award was pro-cured by “corruption,” “fraud,” or “undue means,” and where the arbitrators were “guilty of misconduct,” or “exceeded their powers.” Under §11, the grounds for modifying or correcting an award include “evident material miscalculation,” “evident material mistake,” and “imperfect[ions] in [a] matter of form not affecting the merits.”

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Florida Federal Judge says "NO" to vote re-do.

A federal judge has ruled in DIMAIO vs. DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE and FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY, CASE NO: 8:07-cv-1552-T-26MAP, against those wanting a Florida vote re-do, holding that "the DNC [the Democratic National Committee] and the FDP [Florida Democratic Party] did not exercise any state action and the political parties have a constitutionally protected right to conduct and manage their own internal affairs."

The Court of Appeals agrees, though only for the limited reason that the "Plaintiff lacked standing", though it is OBVIOUS how the court's feel about the issue, as the lower court already decided.

It's time for "BILLARY" to give it up already.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Kentucky in SCOTUS (U. S. Supreme Court) news, as the Court revists Baston V. Kentucky to reverse a death sentence in Louisiana.

The U. S. Supreme Court has reversed a death sentence in the case of Snyder v. Louisiana, 06-10119, approved by the Louisiana Supreme Court, in which the Prosecutor used preemptory challenges to remove Blacks from a jury in order to sit an all White jury, where he drew a parallel to the O J Simpson case, and referred to the case as his ”O.J. Simpson case”, wherein the jury returned a death sentence.

In finding that the Prosecutor violated Baston v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986), and that the Louisiana Supreme Court was in error in failing to reverse the conviction and sentence, the Supreme Court analyzed the case based on Baston's three step process:

(a) Under Batson’s three-step process for adjudicating claims such as petitioner’s, (1) a defendant must make a prima facie showing that the challenge was based on race; (2) if so, “ ‘the prosecution must offer a race-neutral basis for striking the juror in question’ ”; and (3) “ ‘inlight of the parties’ submissions, the trial court must determine whether the defendant has shown purposeful discrimination.’"

A FREE advise to those who want to keep racism alive in the courthouse, DON'T do it!

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SCOTUS to decide if Second Amendment guarantees individual right to bear arms. I asked my GLOCK, and the answer is in the affirmative.

The case is District of Columbia v. Heller, 07-290 (2007).

The issue before the Court is this:

Do the following provisions - D.C. Code sections 7-2502.02(a)(4), 22-4504(a), and 7-2507.02 - violate the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are not affiliated with any state-regulated militia, but who wish to keep handguns and other firearms for private use in their homes?

The District of Columbia appealed a lower court’s ruling last year affirming that the Second Amendment of the Constitution protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, and that the District’s bans on handguns, carrying firearms within the home, and possession of loaded or operable firearms for self-defense violate that right.

What does the Second Amendment provide? Here's what it provides:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

According to that court, “[T]he phrase ‘the right of the people,’ when read intratextually and in light of Supreme Court precedent, leads us to conclude that the right in question is individual.”

The Supreme Court's precedent mentioned include the ruling in U.S. v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1876), numerous court decisions of the 19th century, the Supreme Court's ruling in U.S. v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939).

You can listen to the audio of the Supreme Court's argument, or read the transcript.

You can also read the briefs for Heller, District of Columbia's main, reply, and the United States.

I expect the Court to rule that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to posses a firearm, though that right, like other rights enumerated in the constitution, are subject to REASONABLE government regulation -- and that the gun ban that is the subject of this case is UNREASONABLE.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Judge: Kentucky's "concealed carry" law discriminates against non citizens.

Read the story, on Kentucky's gun law which provides that non citizens not be allowed to carry guns concealed.

The court found that the law discriminates against non citizens.

According to Judge Thomas Russell, "A blanket prohibition discriminating against aliens is not precisely drawn to achieve the goal of facilitating firearms purchases when there exists a nondiscriminatory way to achieve the same goals," while concluding that "Finally, it is in the public interest [for the court] to prevent the violation of an individual's constitutional rights [such as happened with the gun law]".

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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Judge rules Kentucky General Assembly out of order on appropriation.

Read the order here.

Judge Roger Crittenden, in essence, that the appropriation of more than $20 million made by the 2006 General Assembly to fund the construction of the pharmacy building and program at the University of the Cumberlands in Whitley County, violated the 5th (the section PROHIBITS government religious preference), 15th(power of the General Assembly to suspend laws), and 189 (which provides that "NO portion of any fund or tax now existing, or that may hereafter be raised or levied for educational purposes, shall be appropriated to, or used by, or in aid of, any church, sectarian or denominational school") sections of the Kentucky Constitution.

One would have thought our elected General Assemblers would have known BETTER than to pull this "fast one" on us!


Sunday, March 2, 2008

Virginia Supreme Court upholds felony conviction and sentence for computer "spammer".

The Virginia Supreme Court has upheld the nation's first felony conviction and nine year sentence for computer "spamming", against challenges that the anti-spamming statute violated the First Amendment, including on vagueness or over-breath grounds, and the commerce Clause of the US Constitution.

"Spammers" BEWARE!