Bomb Throwing Pacifist

If you took that happy, smiling guy from the box of Quaker Oats, handed him a bottle of gin and a rifle, and pissed him off to a point where he decided he wasn't going to take it anymore, you'd get a little something like this.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Holidays end

Elizabeth, Claire and I went to go see "Syriana" last night. It was really good, if complex at times and, much like "Traffic" is a movie you need to see a few times in order to get all the subplots and storylines. There was a very gruesome scene involving George Clooney's CIA Agent character getting his fingernails pulled out via pliers, but other than that it was a very good film.

Scalito's confirmation hearings start today. Why should you care?

* Alito dissented in U.S. v. Rybar in 1996 and argued that a congressional law against the posession of machine guns which has existed in some form or other since 1934 is unconstitutional on the grounds that it doesn't involve or affect commerce(?! Makes you wonder just how all those Chinese AKMs are getting into this country, huh?)

* Alito argued in 1991's Planned Parenthood v. Casey that a PA. law requiring married women to notify their husbands before getting an abortion was not an "undue burden" on the women's privacy. C'mon. You're telling me that a women who finds out tht she is pregnant by her husband who for whatever reason does not want the baby HAS to inform him before getting an abortion? That makes no sense as the husband's objections have no legal bearing and if he disagrees she can still get an abortion. All it does is make her life more miserable and more difficult and essentially dictates to the woman how she will discuss the issue of abortion (if at all) with her husband. As the Supreme Court later ruled...a woman does not give up her right to privacy and constitutional protection when she gets married.

* In 2004's Doe v. Groody, Alito ruled that a strip search of a 10 year old girl and another woman were allowed by police and were constitutional despite the fact that neither woman was a suspect and that the serach warrants were for the premesis, not the persons in question. Ie. according to Alito, if the police get a warrant to search any place where you are, such as your house, your car, a friend's house, a friend's car, a bar, a casion, or what have you, even if you are in no way suspected of anything, a stip search does not amount to an unreasonable search and seizure and that your anus is clearly part of what is considered to be acceptable territory when a search warrant is issued. Not only is this a clear violation of the Constitution's "Search and Seizure" clause, but also opens the door to all sorts of potential abuses. Cops are generally good, honest people. But do you want to live in a world where any cop can strip search you at any time for more or less any reason? Sorry, but if my friend gets pulled over for whatever reason, I sure as hell am not dropping my pants just because a cop says so.

* Bray v. Marriott Hotels, 1997. Alito argued that the protection against equal opportunity employment and protection from discrimination did not apply if the employer genuinely believed that he or she chose what they felt was "the best person for the job." Not only does this place an undue burden of proof on employees who have been discriminated against ("He fired me because I'm black/gay/catholic/jewish/transsexual/latino/etc. No, I fired you because I didn't think you were the best person for the job. You're racist! Oh yeah, prove it!), but it basically immunizes employers from any kind of discrimination suit, thus opening the doors for a return to de facto segregation, because if employers are protected, why not landlords? Or pharmacists? Or swimming pools?

* Chittister v. Department of Community and Economic Development, 2000. Alito argues that congress does not have the power to grant 5 million state employees the right to sue their employers for violating the Family and Medical Leave Act. In other words, if you're a state employee and get shafted by your boss/agency because they don't think you're really sick or your mom's really dying, then you don't have the power to sue them for breaking the law.

* Public Interest Research Group v. Magnesium Electron, 1997. Scalito argued that even though an environmental group proved that an industrial company had illegally dumped waste into a local stream locals used for fishing and swimming, Altio wiped a $2.6 million fine off the books and erected new barriers for the environmental group to jump over to have their day in court. In a later case in 2000, the Supreme court voted 7-2 against Alito's position, effectivly reversing the increased bruden he placed on the environmental group.

So, in conclusion, Alito has a well-deserved monkier. He has friends in big business and government. He will protect them and, if necessary, make it more difficult for you to sue or have your day in court if you've been wronged. My advice to you if Alito gets the confimration? Don't try to rock the boat.
Marc with a C, 12:50 PM


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