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Fri Apr 6, 2012, 08:55 PM

In Case You Missed The Annihilation Of The 4th Amendment... With The Blessings Of A Democrat...

The Obama DOJ and strip searches
BY GLENN GREENWALD - Salon
TUESDAY, APR 3, 2012


Albert Florence, the plaintiff in Florence v. Bd. of Chosen Freeholders

<snip>

Numerous progressive commentators are lambasting the Supreme Court for its 5-4 ruling yesterday in Florence v. Bd. of Chosen Freeholders, and rightfully so. The 5-judge conservative faction held that prison officials may strip-search anyone arrested even for the most minor offenses before admitting them to the general population of a jail or prison, even in the absence of a shred of suspicion that they are carrying weapons or contraband. The plaintiff in this case had been erroneously arrested for outstanding bench warrants for an unpaid fine that he had actually paid, and was twice subjected to forced strip searches; he sued, claiming a violation of his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. In essence, the Florence ruling grants prison officials license to subject every single arrested individual entering the general prison population to humiliating and highly invasive strip searches (that’s 13 million people every year, with hugely disproportionately minority representation), based on the definitive police state mentality — one that has been applied over and over — that isolated risks justify the most sweeping security measures. This policy has been applied to those arrested for offenses such as dog leash laws, peaceful protests, and driving with an expired license.

As disturbing as the practice of subjecting people accused of minor offenses to degrading strip searches is, it wouldn't be a problem if those people weren't thrown behind bars in the first place. Unfortunately, U.S. jails are full of people accused of minor, nonviolent crimes. One such person was Albert Florence, a 35-year-old Black man erroneously arrested in 2005 for failing to pay a traffic fine he had already paid -- and whose experience is the center of the case decided by the Court.

A New Jersey state trooper pulled over Florence's pregnant wife as she was driving Florence and their 4-year-old son to dinner to celebrate their purchase of a home. Because Florence owned the vehicle, the officer ran his license and discovered a warrant for an outstanding noncriminal traffic fine. Despite the fact that Florence had already paid the fine and carried an official letter proving it, the police handcuffed and arrested him and dragged him off to jail. He was incarcerated for six days and subjected to two invasive strip searches. As Florence recounts, "I was just told, 'Do as you're told.' Wash in this disgusting soap and obey the directions of the officer who was instructing me to turn around, lift my genitals up, turn around, and squat." The next day a judge freed Florence, confirming that he had in fact paid his fine. (You can hear more from Florence in an ACS podcast interview. )

In a 5-4 opinion, the Court held that two New Jersey county jails had not violated the Fourth Amendment
by routinely strip searching all new detainees including those, like Albert Florence, who had been arrested for minor offenses and were unlikely to spend more than one night in jail. With 13 million Americans jailed each year, the decision could have far-reaching consequences.

Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/inimai-chettiar/strip-search-supreme-court_b_1400325.html


What virtually none of this anti-Florence commentary mentioned, though, was that the Obama DOJ formally urged the Court to reach the conclusion it reached. While the Obama administration and court conservatives have been at odds in a handful of high-profile cases (most notably Citizens United and the health care law), this is yet another case, in a long line, where the Obama administration was able to have its preferred policies judicially endorsed by getting right-wing judges to embrace them:

In 1979, the Supreme Court ruled that in the interest of security, prisons could conduct visual body cavity searches of all detainees after they had contact with outsiders. For years after that ruling, lower courts ruled that the prison had to have a reasonable suspicion that the arrestee was concealing contraband before subjecting him to a strip search upon entering the facility.

But in recent years, some courts have begun to allow a blanket policy to strip search all arrestees.

The Obama administration is siding with the prisons in the case and urging the court to allow a blanket policy for all inmates set to enter the general prison population.

“When you have a rule that treats everyone the same,” Justice Department lawyer Nicole A. Saharsky argued, “you don’t have folks that are singled out. You don’t have any security gaps.”


As The Guardian said yesterday: “The decision was a victory for the jails and for the Obama administration, which argued for an across-the-board rule allowing strip-searches of all those entering the general jail population, even those arrested on minor offenses.” Civil rights lawyer Stephen Bergstein added:

This evidence suggesting that minor offenders are not smuggling contraband into jails was not good enough for the Obama administration, which is asking the Supreme Court to endorse the restrictive strip search policy in Florence. At oral argument, a lawyer for the Obama Justice Department told the Supreme Court that “protesters…who decide deliberately to get arrested… might be stopped by the police, they see the squad car behind them. They might have a gun or contraband in their car and think hey, I’m going to put that on my person, I just need to get it somewhere that is not going to be found during a patdown search, and then potentially they have the contraband with them.” This position would probably be identical to that advanced by a Republican presidential administration.


What makes the Obama DOJ’s position in favor of this broad strip-search authority particularly remarkable is that federal prisons do not even have this policy. As The New York Times‘ Adam Liptak explained, “the procedures endorsed by the majority are forbidden by statute in at least 10 states and are at odds with the policies of federal authorities. According to a supporting brief filed by the American Bar Association, international human rights treaties also ban the procedures.”

<snip>

Much More: http://www.salon.com/2012/04/03/the_obama_doj_and_strip_searches/singleton/





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Arrow 69 replies Author Time Post
Reply In Case You Missed The Annihilation Of The 4th Amendment... With The Blessings Of A Democrat... (Original post)
WillyT Apr 2012 OP
Warren DeMontague Apr 2012 #1
MrSlayer Apr 2012 #2
indepat Apr 2012 #13
banned from Kos Apr 2012 #3
WillyT Apr 2012 #6
DeSwiss Apr 2012 #14
villager Apr 2012 #4
banned from Kos Apr 2012 #7
villager Apr 2012 #69
cyglet Apr 2012 #5
WillyT Apr 2012 #8
ProSense Apr 2012 #9
libinnyandia Apr 2012 #10
Larry Ogg Apr 2012 #56
libinnyandia Apr 2012 #61
Larry Ogg Apr 2012 #68
freshwest Apr 2012 #11
WillyT Apr 2012 #12
bread_and_roses Apr 2012 #15
WillyT Apr 2012 #17
ProSense Apr 2012 #22
Occulus Apr 2012 #35
ProSense Apr 2012 #48
TiberiusB Apr 2012 #59
banned from Kos Apr 2012 #18
WillyT Apr 2012 #19
FarLeftFist Apr 2012 #32
woo me with science Apr 2012 #42
ProSense Apr 2012 #21
TransitJohn Apr 2012 #24
shawn703 Apr 2012 #25
ProSense Apr 2012 #31
woo me with science Apr 2012 #40
woo me with science Apr 2012 #39
WillyT Apr 2012 #51
ProSense Apr 2012 #54
ProSense Apr 2012 #53
lonestarnot Apr 2012 #52
Larry Ogg Apr 2012 #58
DeSwiss Apr 2012 #16
pscot Apr 2012 #20
saras Apr 2012 #23
markpkessinger Apr 2012 #42
limpyhobbler Apr 2012 #26
sad sally Apr 2012 #27
limpyhobbler Apr 2012 #28
DefenseLawyer Apr 2012 #29
woo me with science Apr 2012 #30
PoliticAverse Apr 2012 #33
Vattel Apr 2012 #49
Canuckistanian Apr 2012 #34
kenny blankenship Apr 2012 #57
Occulus Apr 2012 #36
upi402 Apr 2012 #37
ProSense Apr 2012 #45
ProSense Apr 2012 #46
Comrade Grumpy Apr 2012 #60
ProSense Apr 2012 #66
TiberiusB Apr 2012 #62
Vattel Apr 2012 #67
ProSense Apr 2012 #44
Norrin Radd Apr 2012 #38
Blue_In_AK Apr 2012 #41
tomp Apr 2012 #47
gulliver Apr 2012 #50
guyton Apr 2012 #55
felix_numinous Apr 2012 #63
WillyT Apr 2012 #65
WHEN CRABS ROAR Apr 2012 #64

Response to WillyT (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 09:01 PM

1. The 4th Amendment's been gone for years. That's why our prisons are full of pot smokers.

And yeah, it's fucked up.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 09:01 PM

2. This country is done.

 

It's just done and gone. How I wish I could afford to go live abroad.

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Response to MrSlayer (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 09:39 PM

13. Makes quaint phrases like the land of the free and home of the brave and the right to life,

liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, et al, appear cynical, silly, and/or ludicrous in concept. Those party to any law/ruling which undermines fundamental constitutional rights or protections ratify junior's remarks to the effect that the Constitution is just a piece of paper (one gathers to be figuratively pissed on as convenient to the prevailing whims of the time). Shame on any/all who, having sworn to protect the Constitution, are a party to its seemingly unlawful evisceration.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 09:02 PM

3. No name, no quote, just a vague accusation from The Guardian?

 

A very suspicious strange claim there.

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Response to banned from Kos (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 09:08 PM

6. No Man... You Don't Get It... We Have To Triangulate, And Prove Our Right-Wing Bona-Fides To...

get those elusive Independents to come over to OUR side.

Or some such political whoredom thinking.


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Response to banned from Kos (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 09:57 PM

14. ....

''Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.'' ~Buddha

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 09:02 PM

4. "a victory for the jails and for the Obama administration"

...a line which tells you, all too clearly and sadly, which side this administration is really on.

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Response to villager (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 09:08 PM

7. That person is simply stating an opinion as a commentator

 

Where is the DOJ to support him?

There must be transcripts (granted, I didn't go to Salon)

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Response to banned from Kos (Reply #7)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 04:17 PM

69. The real question is -- where is the DOJ to support *us*?

The 4th amendment is still missing under all this Federal "hope and change."

When they're not busy busting medical marijuana establishments, that is.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 09:06 PM

5. Just another reason

for me to consider emigrating....

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 09:13 PM

8. Reminder... What The 4th Amendment GUARANTEED !!!

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


The right of the people to be secure in their persons


against unreasonable searches and seizures


and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 09:17 PM

9. I love

Greenwald's title: The Obama DOJ and strip searches

...and his lede:

Numerous progressive commentators are lambasting the Supreme Court for its 5-4 ruling yesterday in Florence v. Bd. of Chosen Freeholders, and rightfully so. The 5-judge conservative faction held that prison officials may strip-search anyone arrested even for the most minor offenses before admitting them to the general population of a jail or prison, even in the absence of a shred of suspicion that they are carrying weapons or contraband.


Yeah, I'm sure that Obama influenced those five.

From the ABC article Greenwald links to:

The court's four liberals, justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, dissented.

"I cannot find justification for the strip-search policy at issue here - a policy that would subject those arrested for minor offenses to serious invasions of their personal privacy," Breyer wrote in a 14-page dissent that his liberal colleagues joined.

It's too bad a Democrat didn't get to appoint a Justice in the decade preceding Obama's appointment of Sotomayor and Kagan.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 09:21 PM

10. Nader supporters didn't think judicial appoints were a high priority.

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Response to libinnyandia (Reply #10)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 03:55 PM

56. It's a given that Obama (the lesser evil), will appoint lesser evil judges.

Unfortunately, the American voters have been voting for the lesser evil for so long

that hell can finely be seen on the near horizon. But you can't see it if you don't want to.

And if you could see it you would realize that judicial appointments are the least of our worries.

I voted for Obama the lesser evil by the way, but then come election time,

the corrupt bought and paid system ensured there wasn't much of a choice.

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Response to Larry Ogg (Reply #56)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 05:21 PM

61. The Democrats aren't perfect and have been moving to the right but at least there is a little hope

for them. The GOP has gone to the far extreme so the difference between them is great. When the Ameican people wake up then things can change. Things like Citizens United and strip searches for all are extreme departures from what this country used to be.

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Response to libinnyandia (Reply #61)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 10:54 PM

68. I vote Democrat because I believe that for so many good people, the lesser evil is the last hope...

And to me, for what it's worth, the last hope is all about giving the people enough time to wake up.

Is there such a time when waking up is to late, some will argue that that time has come and gone,

and I can't argue against them. But time will tell if hope at this point, is something more than wishful thinking.

Maybe if more than a handful of elected democrats showed some kind of meaningful resistance towards

right wing extremist, I would see things different. But I think at this point, not much has changed in very long time,

and the majority of people have been, and still are, putting their faith and hope in a two party Trojan Horse

owned and operated by a collective of very rich predators.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 09:21 PM

11. +1. Yeah, we'll let the Supremes off on this one. They're Obamabots.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 09:31 PM

12. So... Explain Please... Why Did The Obama DOJ Argue In Support Of This Decision ???

I mean...they don't have to if they don't want to.

Why do you think they wanted to?


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Response to WillyT (Reply #12)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 09:58 PM

15. Tut tut...you don't actually expect the point to be addressed?

Since the actual POINT would tend to appearances that in this case the Administration and the conservative SCOTUS judges were on the same page. Thus, it is a negative for a "liberal" audience. Thus, some other, more favorable point must be made - however little it bears on the particulars of this case.

This is a classic tactic, and a strategically a very good one: one never frames an answer within a negative-to-you (the candidate/politician) narrative - instead, the candidate/politician immediately simply makes a point that is favorable to your own desired image.

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Response to bread_and_roses (Reply #15)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 10:05 PM

17. + 1,000,000,000... What You Said !!!

Thank You !!!


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Response to bread_and_roses (Reply #15)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 10:37 PM

22. Oh sorry,

"Tut tut...you don't actually expect the point to be addressed?"

...for the delay, I actually read more of the information to get all the facts.

The liberal Justices didn't seem to buy the Justice Department lawyer's position.

Since the actual POINT would tend to appearances that in this case the Administration and the conservative SCOTUS judges were on the same page. Thus, it is a negative for a "liberal" audience. Thus, some other, more favorable point must be made - however little it bears on the particulars of this case.

This is a classic tactic, and a strategically a very good one: one never frames an answer within a negative-to-you (the candidate/politician) narrative - instead, the candidate/politician immediately simply makes a point that is favorable to your own desired image.

Obama is teh conservative!!! I'm sure his SCOTUS appointments were just to cover up that fact.

It's a good thing that someone checks the fact and doesn't buy into Greenwald's constant spin to make everything about Obama. The article is, as I pointed out in my first comment, spin.

I suspect that by the election, he'll be convincing everyone that conservatives are the ones preventing the creep of Obama's fascism.



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Response to ProSense (Reply #22)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 01:29 AM

35. I have been scrolling right past your posts for over two yeats

because of your cut and paste bullshit.

Address the point succinctly, prosense, or do us all a favor and keep your stewhole shut.

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Response to Occulus (Reply #35)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 09:58 AM

48. "Address the point succinctly, prosense, or do us all a favor and keep your stewhole shut."

Nice post. I'm thinking of a seven-letter phrase. Do you know what it is?

For those who voted to keep that comment, have a nice day!

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Response to ProSense (Reply #22)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 05:03 PM

59. Again, sidestepping the issue...

How is the article spin again?

The Obama DOJ didn't argue for this ruling?

Glenn Greenwald is wrong and the Obama DOJ hasn't argued before the court to protect it's own secrecy and to strip 1st amendment rights from US citizens? The Obama DOJ hasn't worked to protect its assertion that it has the right to target US citizens for assassination without judicial oversight?

Help me out here. Glenn Greenwald seems to be arguing that the recent efforts by the Obama DOJ to argue on behalf of expanded powers for police and prison officials fits a larger pattern of disturbingly right wing conservative thinking in the Obama administration. The complete lack of a strong liberal counter force to the GOP is what he is pining for and clearly doesn't see coming from Obama.

And he is right.

Obama is the one stepping forward and arguing that his health insurance bill is good because it's really a GOP plan.

Obama is the one who is saying that cap-and-trade is a good plan because it's a GOP plan.

Obama is the one who openly calls for "fixing" Social Security and embraces deficit hysteria, boasting about how low federal spending is under his administration even as austerity continues to push the 99% under water while the wealthy get a free pass (see the JOBS Act).

As for his Supreme Court picks, while I can easily accept the argument that Sotomayor and Kagan were the strongest "liberal" justices Obama could hope to get through the nomination process, neither is as liberal as previous justices on the court. Elena Kagan, in particular, has sided with the conservatives on the court on several occasions (look up miranda rights and Monsanto). She's "liberal" more by comparison with the conservative side of the court than on the merits of her own record.

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Response to WillyT (Reply #12)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 10:05 PM

18. here is the linked DOJ "argument" from ABC News

 

The Obama administration is siding with the prisons in the case and urging the court to allow a blanket policy for all inmates set to enter the general prison population.

“When you have a rule that treats everyone the same,” Justice Department lawyer Nicole A. Saharsky argued, “you don’t have folks that are singled out. You don’t have any security gaps.”


That is fairly innocent.

How someone enters the general prison population on a traffic citation is beyond me.

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Response to banned from Kos (Reply #18)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 10:07 PM

19. Did You READ The OP ???

One such person was Albert Florence, a 35-year-old Black man erroneously arrested in 2005 for failing to pay a traffic fine he had already paid -- and whose experience is the center of the case decided by the Court.

A New Jersey state trooper pulled over Florence's pregnant wife as she was driving Florence and their 4-year-old son to dinner to celebrate their purchase of a home. Because Florence owned the vehicle, the officer ran his license and discovered a warrant for an outstanding noncriminal traffic fine. Despite the fact that Florence had already paid the fine and carried an official letter proving it, the police handcuffed and arrested him and dragged him off to jail. He was incarcerated for six days and subjected to two invasive strip searches. As Florence recounts, "I was just told, 'Do as you're told.' Wash in this disgusting soap and obey the directions of the officer who was instructing me to turn around, lift my genitals up, turn around, and squat." The next day a judge freed Florence, confirming that he had in fact paid his fine. (You can hear more from Florence in an ACS podcast interview. )

In a 5-4 opinion, the Court held that two New Jersey county jails had not violated the Fourth Amendment


From the OP.


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Response to WillyT (Reply #19)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:34 PM

32. Blame the officers who should have listened to him about his proof of payment.

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Response to WillyT (Reply #19)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 02:03 AM

42. This entire subthread is like something out of Alice in Wonderland,

the Twilight Zone, and 1984 combined.

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Response to WillyT (Reply #12)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 10:28 PM

21. Maybe Greenwald

knows that the Justice Department lawyer referenced was an Assistant to the Solicitor General long before Obama became President. In fact, here is a reference to her receiving an award in 2008:

<...>

Nine individuals were awarded the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service for their work on the Military Commissions Act and the Detainee Treatment Act. The group worked tirelessly on these important cases, briefing and arguing complex questions of constitutional and administrative law, responding to motions filed by more than 100 detainees, and closely coordinating with numerous client agencies and Department components. Members of the group from the Civil Division of the Department of Justice include, Jonathan F. Cohn, Deputy Assistant Attorney General; Robert M. Loeb, Appellate Counsel; Matthew M. Collette, Catherine Y. Hancock and August E. Flentje, Trial Attorneys; Jennifer A. Paisner, Senior Litigation Counsel for the Office of Immigration Litigation; individuals from the Office of the Solicitor General include, Gregory G. Garre, Solicitor General; Eric D. Miller and Nicole A. Saharsky, Assistants to the Solicitor General.

http://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/attorney-general-mukasey-recognizes-department-employees-and-others-for-their-service-at-annual-awards-ceremony

I mean, it's like the view is Obama appointed everyone and his directing the inner workings of every agency.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #21)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 10:43 PM

24. He runs every agency, and the Attorney General certainly

greenlights every action in front of the SCOTUS.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #21)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 10:46 PM

25. So do you believe this lawyer went rogue?

That Obama really wanted to side with the 4th Amendment, but she decided to push for a ruling stripping away our protections all by herself? Should I expect to see her fired for her actions?

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Response to shawn703 (Reply #25)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:31 PM

31. She likely

So do you believe this lawyer went rogue?

That Obama really wanted to side with the 4th Amendment, but she decided to push for a ruling stripping away our protections all by herself? Should I expect to see her fired for her actions?

...has her views, and she is asked a series of questions. The U.S. filed a brief. It depends on how she frames her response and how convincing they are. I mean, the health care law case was just heard by the SCOTUS, and some people are convinced that the administration was completely unprepared or trying to throw the case.

Having said that, premising an entire opinion on a single quote and extrapolating to claim that Obama supports the conservative Justices' opinion as written is a bit of a stretch.

Breyer seems to believe they went beyond what was being argued citing even the supporting brief, and even two of the concurring opinions offered lame clarifications to tamp down perceived over.

It all seems to be a murky overreach typical of these conservative Justices.

I doubt any other outcome was possible with this Court.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #31)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 01:55 AM

40. Yeah, that happens to all good Presidents.



You really WANT to defend the Fourth Amendment, but since you figure the court wouldn't support that, you might as well send an attorney in to argue the other side.





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Response to shawn703 (Reply #25)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 01:51 AM

39. She was obviously drugged by the delight

of seeing Obama's chiseled, liberal physique and hearing his deep, progressive voice when she visited the White House during preparation of oral arguments.

Thinking about his deep patriotism and love for the Fourth Amendment completely disoriented her, and she accidentally argued for the wrong side.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #39)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 11:32 AM

51. LOL !!!







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Response to WillyT (Reply #51)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:12 PM

54. Being

anti-Obama is so kewl!

His "chiseled, liberal physique and hearing his deep, progressive voice"

Hahahaha!



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Response to woo me with science (Reply #39)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:10 PM

53. You sound

She was obviously drugged by the delight

of seeing Obama's chiseled, liberal physique and hearing his deep, progressive voice when she visited the White House during preparation of oral arguments.

Thinking about his deep patriotism and love for the Fourth Amendment completely disoriented her, and she accidentally argued for the wrong side.

...jealous.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #9)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:06 PM

52. Thank you!

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Response to ProSense (Reply #9)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 04:09 PM

58. If there was any real justice in this country...

The 5-criminal judges would themselves be in prison.

And they would have lots of criminal politicians to keep them company.


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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 09:59 PM

16. K&R

''The most potent weapon of the oppressor, is the mind of the oppressed.'' - Steven Biko

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 10:24 PM

20. Isolated risks justify the most sweeping security measures

Yeah. it's fucked up. I don't care how the President's defenders try to justify it. And they have.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 10:42 PM

23. It's a civil rights thing. Right.

 

“When you have a rule that treats everyone the same,” Justice Department lawyer Nicole A. Saharsky argued, “you don’t have folks that are singled out. You don’t have any security gaps.”


So if some small group - say recidivist smugglers of contraband into jail - are going to lose the right to visit someone who is in jail without being strip-searched, it's only fair that everyone is strip-searched. If armed felons are strip-searched after 120mph flight and pursuit, then it only makes sense that every car stopped by the police is strip-searched.

And for that matter, what about witnesses? When an officer comes to interview a witness, they have no way of knowing this person isn't an armed felon - after all, they're associated with a crime. So why shouldn't they all be strip-searched?

And if you have an issue with "driving while black" you simply expand the harassment into driving while poor and you've eliminated racial discrimination in one fell swoop.

You have a right, as a citizen, at all times to not be attacked by anyone carrying the sort of weapon they might carry if we don't strip-search them regularly. So to protect your most fundamental right, to be free from violence, we will have to be able to strip-search anyone at any time on any suspicion.

Double-speak lessons are OVER. It's time to start USING the double-speak you've been taught. Or there will be consequences. Strip-searches with tasers. Strip-searches with pepper spray. Strip searches with riot clubs. This does NOT look promising.

Or, in plain English, what a FUCKING STUPID THING TO EVEN CONSIDER LEGALIZING.


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Response to saras (Reply #23)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 02:03 AM

42. Exactly ...

... There is no end to what can be justified under this logic. Truly scary. And truly alarming that so many Democrats are willing to give a pass to one of our own, when the same folks would have been screaming bloody murder had the previous administration taken many of the same positions. Appalling.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 10:53 PM

26. This SCOTUS is an embarrassment to our country.

This decision goes against the modern understanding of human dignity. I think the Roberts era will go down in history as one of the worst in the history of the Court.

Shame on the President for supporting this. Sadly I fear our criticisms of the President are useless as the he knows we have no real alternative but to vote for him anyways. He can pretty much do whatever he wants, because Mitt Romney is always going to be worse.

That is the cruel logic and the inevitable result of our two-party system. Unless we can find a way of changing that system, I'm afraid we are quite screwed.


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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:00 PM

27. Forced nudity to control the population - what next?

from Naomi Wolf:

"Believe me: you don't want the state having the power to strip your clothes off. History shows that the use of forced nudity by a state that is descending into fascism is powerfully effective in controlling and subduing populations.

The political use of forced nudity by anti-democratic regimes is long established. Forcing people to undress is the first step in breaking down their sense of individuality and dignity and reinforcing their powerlessness. Enslaved women were sold naked on the blocks in the American south, and adolescent male slaves served young white ladies at table in the south, while they themselves were naked: their invisible humiliation was a trope for their emasculation. Jewish prisoners herded into concentration camps were stripped of clothing and photographed naked, as iconic images of that Holocaust reiterated."

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/04/06-8

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Response to sad sally (Reply #27)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:14 PM

28. Ms. Wolf makes a good point there.

If we were going to descend into a police state, this would be a necessary stop on the way. It won't be long before strip searches are being used against people arrested in political prostests. This increases the risk of protesting by a lot.

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Response to sad sally (Reply #27)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:20 PM

29. Make no mistake, these strip searches have little or nothing to do with "security"

and everything to do with control.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:24 PM

30. How many people were trapped and arrested on that bridge during the Occupy protests?

We are coming very close to Egyptian virginity checks in giving reasons to make people fearful to trying to make their voices heard.

This is abominable, and that Obama's DOJ FOUGHT FOR IT is indefensible.

Occupy now, before the potential consequences for doing so get even worse.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 01:01 AM

33. For those that want to read the brief the Department of Justice submitted, arguing that...

"The Fourth Amendment permits prison and jail officials to conduct visual body-cavity inspections
of all detainees who will join the general inmate population"

(the above is a direct quote from the summary); you can find the entire brief (.pdf format) here:
http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/10-945bsacUnitedStates.pdf

Complete information on the case (including other briefs submitted) can be found here:
http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/florence-v-board-of-chosen-freeholders-of-the-county-of-burlington/

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #33)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 10:15 AM

49. Thank you for this.

I don't trust anything I read in the Guardian. But in this case they seem to have got the basic facts rights. The Obama DOJ has been an incredible disappointment on a wide range of issues. Our rights under the Constituion continue to be whittled away.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 01:21 AM

34. Hey, Obama was once a law professor

I'm sure this is all, you know, legal and proper.

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Response to Canuckistanian (Reply #34)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 03:57 PM

57. Well it is legal *now*. I fell for that Constitutional Lawyer BS too.

I've had many occasions since to think twice about it.

It occurred to me only too late that, for every instance in which common sense decency and traditional Constitutional liberties have been destroyed, there was surely a team of "Constitutional Lawyers" arguing to destroy them, and they probably outnumbered the team of Constitutional Lawyers arguing to uphold them. Certainly they had more money backing them. The Judge who sided with the Police State Advocates probably was once such an advocate himself or herself, and was also called "Constitutional Lawyer". And they all learned their trade from another Constitutional Lawyer, most likely at an institution founded, funded and attended by the wealthy elite. Those passing through such institutions tend to acquire the views and attitudes which predominate there. If they don't already reflect them, because their background is atypical, it will become immediately clear how their interests are served by conforming to their new environment and cohort.

It should be no surprise to me that a "Constitutional Lawyer" can be found arguing for jackbooted authoritarian thuggery. After all, Ann Coulter is a "Constitutional Lawyer" too.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 01:35 AM

36. yet ANOTHER vindication of my decision to not vote for Obama this fall

NOTHING Obama can do will recapture my vote. He does not deserve the office, and I no longer believe he ever did.

I regret voting for this man in the first place.

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Response to Occulus (Reply #36)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 01:40 AM

37. i wont vote for Obama

his economic betrayals were foretold in his cabinet appointments.

Clinton -> Obama = no opposition to corporatism

They didn't allow Kucinich to debate in the nominations. Toast country then.

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Response to upi402 (Reply #37)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 08:09 AM

45. That's

"i wont vote for Obama"

...two down and few million to go.

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Response to upi402 (Reply #37)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 09:12 AM

46. And to

get blunt, one thing is certain: The prison population isn't exploding under Obama like it did under Clinton.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002430710

Also, could you imagine if Obama had done something like this today?

Another Black Arkansan who suffered from mental illness, Ricky Ray Rector, became world famous upon his execution in 1992. Then Governor Bill Clinton left the campaign trail in January of that year to sign the warrant for Rector’s execution. Rector’s mental capacity was such that when taken from his cell as a “dead man walking” he told a guard to save his pie. He thought he would return to finish his dessert. I try to remember this story when I am told that all Black people love Bill Clinton or that he should be considered the first Black president. Clinton wasn’t Black when Rector needed him. He was just another politician who didn’t want to be labeled soft on crime.

http://www.blackcommentator.com/73/73_fr_death_penalty.html


The President's detractors, like Greenwald, design their criticisms to suppress the vote. It's not a criticism of a specific issue, it's throwing the kitchen sink into every commentary, every shred of negative that can be used, to give the impression that this President is extremely flawed. It's utter bullshit.

I mean look at this from the OP piece:

It’s rather strange to so vehemently condemn the ruling in this case as a warped, sadistic police state excess, and not even mention that the Obama DOJ vigorously advocated for this very result. The position taken by the DOJ is not dispositive: the Court is free, of course, to rule the opposite way. But the U.S. Government’s position before a federal court is definitely influential in general (which is why I wrote earlier today that the Obama DOJ deserves credit for refusing to defend the constitutionality of DOMA), and in a case like this specifically, it matters a great deal that the U.S. government is insisting that this broad strip-search authority is necessary for prison security. Yes, the five-judge conservative majority is to blame for this outcome, but so, too, is the Obama administration, which advocated and urged it.

When I first started reading liberal blogs and then when I began participating in their conversations, they were principally devoted to two types of critiques: (1) the establishment media was far too deferential to Bush/Cheney policies and political leaders in general; and (2) the Democratic Party was far too accommodating of GOP policies, either out of misguided conviction or political fear. Even as it remained faithful to the notion of still supporting the Democrats in general elections, that activist template offered a vital push-back against the Democratic Party from the left. By contrast, the right-wing blogosphere back then was typically mocked as irrelevant — even by GOP politicians — because it was nothing more than a subservient cog in the RNC and right-wing noise machine, with no purpose other than to faithfully disseminate the Bush administration’s message of the day.

This is why it’s been so disappointing, and I think destructive, to watch that push-back model, with some exceptions, basically evaporate during the Obama presidency. In a speech to the Associated Press today, President Obama boasted that his signature domestic policies were basically conservative (he labeled them “centrist”): his individual mandate, he said, was pioneered by conservatives and the Heritage Foundation; his cap-and-trade policy was first proposed by Bush 41; federal spending is lower now than it was during any year of the Reagan administration, etc. Even the successes most touted by his supporters — the Detroit bailout, TARP, the withdrawal from Iraq — were started by Bush 43. Obama’s foreign policy and civil liberties assaults also, of course, were largely shared by his predecessor and are frequently praised by the Right.

OMG, Obama is teh horrible and Bush gets credit for anything good, well except for not defending DOMA.

I'm sure if Greenwald was around in the 1930s and the 1990s, he could employ similar tactics to convince people not to vote for FDR and Clinton.

I have no use for anyone who is trying to convince me that Obama is the worst person since Bush, especially someone who thinks Ron Paul, that racist, anti-woman cretin, has some good qualities.

Give me a fucking break.





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Response to ProSense (Reply #46)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 05:20 PM

60. Uh, the federal prison population continues to increase under Obama.

1980: 24,000
1989: 57,000
1999: 136,000
2012: 216,000

More than 100,000 for drug law violations.

http://www.bop.gov/news/PDFs/ipaabout.pdf

Not as fast as under Clinton, but to be fair, it was laws passed in the late '80s that generated the federal Clinton-era incarceration boom. And to be to Obama, he did support reducing the crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparity, which has resulted in several thousand people getting out early.

Spin it all you want, the DOJ argued in support of the conservative justices' interpretation of the law.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #60)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 10:03 PM

66. Sure,

Uh, the federal prison population continues to increase under Obama...Not as fast as under Clinton, but to be fair, it was laws passed in the late '80s that generated the federal Clinton-era incarceration boom...Spin it all you want, the DOJ argued in support of the conservative justices' interpretation of the law.

...but the spin is rewriting Clinton's legacy

<...>

When William Jefferson Clinton took office in 1993, he was embraced by some as a moderate change from the previous twelve years of tough on crime Republican administrations. Now, eight years later, the latest criminal justice statistics show that it was actually Democratic President Bill Clinton who implemented arguably the most punitive platform on crime in the last two decades. In fact, “tough on crime” policies passed during the Clinton Administration’s tenure resulted in the largest increases in federal and state prison inmates of any president in American history.

http://www.justicepolicy.org/research/2061


http://www.justicepolicy.org/uploads/justicepolicy/documents/too_little_too_late.pdf



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Response to ProSense (Reply #46)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 05:35 PM

62. Can you refute anything he said?

You do see the flaw in pointing out that Glenn Greenwald praised the Obama DOJ for not continuing to defend DOMA, right?

It sort of undercuts your "throws the kitchen sink of criticism" at Obama to "suppress the vote" (because that will do it much better that the legions of right wing legislators).

Here are some of your own words:

"Yeah, I'm sure that Obama influenced those five."
"Yeah, we'll let the Supremes off on this one. They're Obamabots."
"Having said that, premising an entire opinion on a single quote and extrapolating to claim that Obama supports the conservative Justices' opinion as written is a bit of a stretch. "

GG was arguing that the Obama DOJ's support for this ruling fits a disturbing trend, not that Obama single-handedly went and did some judicial arm twisting. Nor was he saying that Obama supports the "opinion as written." You made all that up, much as you made up the bit about GG thinks Ron Paul "has some good qualities." He has expressed agreement with Ron Paul on some issues, but has never claimed it reflected well on the man himself or absolved him of his major shortcomings. GG has also used Ron Paul's positions on wars to express his disappointment that Ron Paul of all people should occasionally be the voice of reason and not Obama. Trying to make GG out to be a big Ron Paul booster, which his critics LOVE to do, is at best out of place in this discussion. It gives the appearance of a failing argument and a bid to smear the messenger to avoid debating the message.

GG's point about some of Obama's successes getting their start under Bush is true, even though many don't like to admit it. You can argue that Obama followed through were Bush would have obstructed or delayed or even reneged on his promises, but that doesn't change the core of GG's argument, that Obama seems to approach too many issues from the right. This has the effect of pushing the Overton window ever rightward and mainstreams concepts that would have been appalling (and rightfully so) under Bush, such as extra judicial assassination.

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Response to TiberiusB (Reply #62)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 10:09 PM

67. +1000

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Response to Occulus (Reply #36)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 08:08 AM

44. Well,

"NOTHING Obama can do will recapture my vote."

...you've made Greenwald's day.

A non-vote doesn't count.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 01:48 AM

38. kr

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 01:58 AM

41. How convenient.

This is just in time for Occupy Spring.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 09:50 AM

47. so florence gets arrested but zimmerman doesn't. nt

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 10:39 AM

50. Normally progressive causes should live in fear of Glenn Greenwald

Greenwald takes things that seems perfectly reasonable and makes them unreasonable by arguing for them.

If the drug laws were gone, then I would be fine with strip searches at jails -- as long as it applied to all inmates. That way if someone like Florence gets arrested, he can be sure that the other prisoners have been strip searched. Unfortunately, the drug laws mean that some poor kid could be arrested for jaywalking and the cops could find a bud hidden on him. In other words, the strip search would be a lot more reasonable if its only reason were safety.

The legal system isn't based on meanness or incompetence, but unfortunately it often seems that way. I usually cherche le Republican. If there is a combination of meanness and incompetence somewhere, you will often find Republican influence.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 03:32 PM

55. why was he in jail?

He had written proof that he'd paid the fine. The offense was one which (if guilty of) does not include jail time.

Why was this man even put in jail in the first place? Let alone left there long enough to be searched ... twice!?

I just don't understand why this man doesn't own the town after suing for false-arrest.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 08:49 PM

63. I don't get why President Obama

agrees with this. It is sickening. This country is on a disturbing trajectory.

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Response to felix_numinous (Reply #63)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 09:41 PM

65. Me Neither...


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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 09:01 PM

64. Chip by chip, piece by piece, our freedoms are being eroded.

When will we look them straight in their eyes and say ENOUGH?

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